1 staffer killed, another wounded in Colo. prison

CROWLEY, Colo. — A female kitchen employee was killed and another was seriously injured Monday in a disturbance involving an inmate while breakfast was being prepared at a state prison in southeast Colorado, a spokeswoman said.

The inmate was subdued, and the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Crowley was put on lockdown, said Alison Morgan, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Correction. The prison 45 miles east of Pueblo houses about 1,000 male prisoners.

The names of the victims were not immediately released. The wounded employee was listed in critical condition late Monday at a hospital in Pueblo, Morgan said.

In 1989, the facility gained international notoriety when a helicopter swooped into the yard and spirited two inmates to freedom. Prison officials said they could not fire on the aircraft because they could not get a clear shot. The prisoners were recaptured after they switched to a rental van and got into a gun battle with officers in Nebraska.

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Over the past decade, there have several high-profile disturbances at Colorado prisons.

In 2004, at the privately owned Crowley County Correctional Facility nearby, about 300 inmates ransacked two cell houses and prison offices and set dozens of fires. Several inmates were injured, two seriously.

In Limon, in northeast Colorado, a prisoner was arrested after prison worker Eric Autobee was beaten to death in 2002 by a convicted child killer wielding a ladle.

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